Getting To Know UNESCO

In the previous post, we have seen about the UNESCO heritage sites of Tamilnadu. Though I get to know UNESCO in-depth during my college days, I realized, I should have introduced UNESCO before posting about the sites as there is still a vague understanding of this organization and how it works in selecting natural and historical destinations under its wings. So through this blog post, I’ll let you get a glance at the way of “United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization”.

UNESCO, which has its headquarters in Paris, France is a specialized part of the UN body that specifically focuses on contributing to peace and security but in the form of promoting international collaboration through some of the important and universal aspects such as education, science, and cultural reforms.

It all started in 1972 soon after the UN Conference on Environment that was held in Stockholm, Sweden. During this time, the UNESCO convention placed their concern over protecting the cultural and natural heritage sites around the world which are under immense threat of collapsing and disappearing. And this marks the beginning of the World Heritage Site Listings. The convention projected the universal need to bring the balance between preserving culture and nature and this received support from majority of the leading countries and eventually became a major aspect in cultural heritage conservation.

The Criteria For Selection Of World Heritage Sites

A majority of you could have already heard about these sites and could have visited without knowing too. But, let’s just get into what makes a site or a destination to be listed under UNESCO heritage sites. Well, any of the following 10 criterias alone or combined, need to be fulfilled by the sites to get listed as World Heritage.

With these criteria as a lead, UNESCO has brought together various unique, irreplaceable, and diverse locations around the world as a part of our global heritage. Regardless of Nationality, these are our responsibility and treasure that needs to be protected. At present, according to UNESCO’s official website, globally 1154 properties that exist around 167 countries are placed on the list.


How it actually works?

First of all, it is expected that all countries are expected to submit a tentative list of places they are considering to be cultural or natural heritage and are suitable to be on the World Heritage List. It is noted that this list is not detailed, complete, or stands forever. Besides it has to be submitted one year before the nomination submission date. All the countries re-examine and re-submit their tentative list every 10 years. Once the site is listed, automatically the site name will be removed from the tentative list.

Once the site is included in the World Heritage list, it places immense responsibility on the State under which the site comes. So they have to duly ensure proper management by monitoring, and conserving the site. And that is why you see many of the UNESCO sites being properly maintained compared to many other sites that aren’t included in the lists.

Besides, all of these sites will be assessed every 6 years and reports written on the same are used for proper preservation and conservation. This directly allows UNESCO to decide whether or not the site should be listed in World Heritage in Danger like destinations such as Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, The Galapagos Island in Ecuador, and the Everglades National Park. What exactly the danger that they states here are, war, natural calamities, urbanization, etc… and very recently Climate Change is also added as an important factor that induces threat to these heritage sites.

And that’s the end! Hope you guys learned something new!

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By NBsakura

A solivagant, who is trying to cherish every moment through every journey that I'm destined with.

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